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Lost Letters To Stalin Discovered in Moldovan Archive
Immigration officials in Berlin are struggling to cope with a twenty-fold increase in migrants and refugees.
An Uzbek woman, Momojon Romanova, says she was born in 1896, making her a witness to three centuries. The records from the time of her birth are hard to verify, but if the dates are accurate, Romanova is likely the world's oldest person at age 119. (RFE/RL's Current Time)
In Russia, patriotism and politics can seep into all aspects of life, even children's toys. One small business in Moscow is churning out toy soldiers that pay tribute to the separatist fighters in Ukraine -- and is using some of its profits to contribute to the conflict.
In a small Tajik village, members of the Luli minority maintain the traditions passed down to them through the generations. For some, begging is not only a way to survive, but an honorable profession practiced by their nomadic forebears. (Anushervon Aripov and Nasim Isamov, RFE/RL's Current Time)
With legislative elections looming in Kyrgyzstan, the Russia-friendly media that dominate the country are setting the narrative. And the lead Kremlin spin doctor was in Bishkek to check on how they are doing.
In Malmö, Syrians, Iraqis, and Bosnians live alongside native-born Swedes. But as immigrant populations grow increasingly concentrated in certain neighborhoods, racial tensions are rising, and some newcomers are struggling to integrate into the Swedish society.
As many as 900 migrants are registering for asylum each day in the southern Swedish city of Malmö -- the largest influx of refugees to the Scandinavian country since World War II. As authorities and volunteers rush to offer much-needed aid, the relief effort is led partly by former refugees.
A rare recording made by Russian singer-songwriter Vladimir Vysotsky has been released by RFE/RL. Vysotsky recorded the song, Apples of Paradise, in California, in 1979. It contains lyrical variations from previously released versions of the song -- and the maestro's voice in full throttle.
The country's first female truck driver tells women "Nothing is too difficult."
A month after getting married, Sayid and Amira sold all their possessions in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and set off on a perilous journey toward a new life in the European Union. RFE/RL's Ray Furlong traveled with them along the so-called “Balkan Route.”
Girls in Tajikistan are bucking local tradition by hopping on their bicycles. Some are peddling as much as 10 kilometers a day to travel to and from school. (RFE/RL Tajik Service)
The Schengen agreement, which abolishes internal EU borders, is facing a major crisis as the influx of refugees reaches unprecedented levels. Several member states have responded with temporary controls at borders within the travel-free zone. Does this call the Schengen principles into question?
Hundreds of Afghans are queuing through the night at the passport office in Kabul, before setting off on the long and dangerous journey to Europe. Many take a bus to the Iranian border, the first leg of a 6,000-kilometer journey. (RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan)
Daniel Baer, the U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, spoke with RFE/RL correspondent Pete Baumgartner in Prague about the recent anticorruption protests in Moldova. Baer said the protests are an outgrowth of Moldovans' long-term concerns.
Mass anticorruption protests erupted this week in Chisinau, with demonstrators demanding the president's resignation. In the weeks leading up to the unrest, correspondents of RFE/RL's Moldovan Service had traveled around the country to assess public opinion and citizens' day-to-day challenges.
Anton Krasovsky's soaring career as a Russian television journalist came to an abrupt end in 2013, when he announced live on air that he was gay. Now barred from Russian screens, Krasovsky has nonetheless chosen to stay in Russia – a society he says is doomed to ruin.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be sending troops and hardware to Syria.
Parmesan cheese is an essential ingredient in many classic Italian dishes.
But foreign imports of Parmesan have been banned by Russia as part of its retaliation against Western sanctions over Ukraine.
Tens of thousands of Moldovans have protested in the capital, Chisinau. What are the reasons behind their discontent?
Some 2,500 U.S., Ukrainian, and NATO troops are taking part in Sea Breeze 2015, a two-week military exercise in the Black Sea and Ukraine's coastal regions. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has said the training is meant to boost trust and security in the region, which has been shaken by instability.
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, now governor of Ukraine's Odesa region, has vowed to stamp out corruption in his jurisdiction. In recent days, he has run into trouble with Ukrainian leaders, accusing officials in Kyiv of sabotaging his reform efforts.
Last year, in the wake of a major terrorist attack, the Pakistani government pledged to take action against extremist publications. But in Peshawar, newspapers and magazines that openly support the Taliban and call for jihad are on sale alongside the mainstream press.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says his top priority is maintaining the unity of a pro-Ukrainian global coalition. He also harshly criticized Russia during an interview in Kyiv on September 4 with VOA Ukrainian Service reporter Myroslava Gongadze.
Hungry for resources, Chinese companies are investing billions of dollars in Siberia. But not everyone in Russia's remote region of Trans-Baikal welcomes China's growing influence.
For migrants seeking a better life in the European Union, the most popular destination is Germany. After a long and difficult journey across the Balkans, the final stage for many is catching a train from Vienna to Munich. RFE/RL joined the exhausted travelers on board.
Eleven years ago, one of the worst terrorist attacks in Russia's history occurred at a school in the small North Ossetian town of Beslan. Here's how the tragedy unfolded.
A man throwing what appeared to be a grenade during a protest in Kyiv was caught on video by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty cameras. The violence erupted after parliament approved a draft constitutional amendment granting more autonomy to the eastern Ukrainian regions. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
There are various responses to the wave of people traveling through the Balkans to the European Union. Some residents along the transit route are eager to volunteer their time or money to help. Others see it is a business opportunity.
Hungarian troops were busily continuing with construction of a fence along the country’s 175-kilometer border with Serbia, aimed at keeping out migrants from strife-torn countries seeking to enter the European Union.
Migrants made a dramatic break for freedom from a camp near Roszke, Hungary, scaling a fence and running away. RFE/RL's Ray Furlong is on the scene.
The Kyrgyz government has launched a training course teaching Muslim clerics to use digital technology. The initiative is meant to help counter extremist groups -- which recruit through social media -- by helping moderate religious leaders make their voices heard online. (Adilet Bektursunov)
A new statue of Josef Stalin has been erected in the city of Lipetsk. Some Russians are furious that the crimes of the Stalin era are being whitewashed by current officials, but others are eager to claim the dictator as a national hero.
Poverty is rife across Tajikistan, and as many as 1 million Tajiks have gone abroad in search of jobs. The children of many migrants, and other struggling parents, wind up working to try to make ends meet. Across Tajikistan, kids work at factories and farms to help provide for their families.
Police clashed with residents in the Azerbaijani city of Mingachevir on August 22, a day after a young Azerbaijani man was found dead after being questioned by local police. Police say the man jumped out of a window while being interrogated. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)
Macedonian riot police fired tear gas into crowds of migrants and refugees to cope with the growing surge of people trying to enter the country at its southern border with Greece. Here is our report on the unfolding human drama. (RFE/RL-VOA-Reuters)
If a proposed law is passed in Russia's parliament, state purchases of most imported medical equipment and supplies would be banned. The ban would not apply to private medical businesses. RFE/RL's Current Time program looked at the potential impact on one of Moscow's top hospitals and its patients.
Thousands of refugees fleeing violence in their countries or just seeking a better life in Europe have made their way to the Greek Island of Kos. As the travelers suffer in legal limbo, local and international officials struggle to deal with the influx.
The relatives of the Russian sailors who died in the Kursk submarine disaster in 2000 are still looking for answers as to what happened -- and are increasingly frustrated by the authorities' response.
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
For almost a year, areas of eastern Ukraine under the control of Russia-backed separatists have been cut off from the rest of the country. The economic price is enormous. At the market in Luhansk, money is scarce and prices are soaring. The common refrain: ''Somehow, we're surviving."
The British defense secretary, Michael Fallon, has promised Kyiv continuing support against "Russian-inspired terrorism" in eastern Ukraine. Fallon was speaking as he visited British instructors conducting training exercises with Ukrainian troops in the Zhytomyr region, west of Kyiv, on August 11.
An exhibition in Prague documents the 2010 trial of Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky in cartoons. A comment on the Russian justice system, it's titled simply "The Trial," a deliberate echo of Franz Kafka's famous novel -- in which the defendant is not even told what he is accused of.
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said Russia would never infringe on his country's sovereignty. In an August 4 interview in Minsk with RFE/RL and two other independent media outlets, Lukashenka said a war between the countries would be a disaster. (RFE/RL's Belarus Service)
Talks in Minsk aimed at a pullback of weapons from the front lines in eastern Ukraine have remained at an impasse. That's unlikely to surprise the men of the Ukrainian armed forces entrenched near Donetsk airport. They say they are under daily shelling from pro-Russian separatists.
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko had harsh words for the French actor, Gerard Depardieu. Once considered a family friend, Yushchenko told RFE/RL in a July 30 interview that Depardieu's pro-Russian attitudes have "debased his nation." (RFE/RL's Belarusian Service)
In Crimea, some say prices have skyrocketed since the annexation of the Ukrainian territory by Russia in March 2014. RFE/RL spoke to people in Simferopol and Nikolaevka about the prices of things like fruits and vegetables and taxi rides. (Crimean Desk of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
As Kyrgyz families escape the heat on the shores of the country's largest lake, some children have no chance to enjoy the summer holiday. At one lakeside resort, kids as young as first-graders work for extra cash to be able to buy school books or help their struggling parents pay off debts.
The Avdiyivka Coke and Chemical Plant produces the fuel that powers Ukraine's massive steel industry. It also sits on the front lines of the country's separatist conflict. Though the plant has come under heavy fire, the workers say they have no choice but to keep production running.
In rural northwest Pakistan, the ancient Pashtun tradition of bull-running is still going strong. Blindfolded bulls have eight minutes to race around in a circle, powering a water pump as they go. The bull that makes the most circuits is the winner. (Zaland Yousufzai, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal)
As Ukraine basks in summer sunshine, the beach resorts on the Sea of Azov are not doing well. The distant rumble of rocket fire and the roadblocks don't make for much of a holiday atmosphere. Bookings have collapsed, and the tourism business is in ruins. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service and Current Time)
In an exclusive interview with VOA's Persian News Network, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the easing of sanctions on Iran is likely to have a real impact on Iran's economy and standard of living, possibly within six months. Kerry told VOA's Setareh Derakhshesh on July 20 that although
A group of Afghan women have formed a unique community on top of a hill in Kabul. Known as ‘’Women’s Hill,” the community of widows is breaking taboos in a country dominated by men -- working for a living, and even building their own houses.
As Hungary this week began work on a border fence to keep out migrants, its neighbor Serbia is trying to deal with the steady flow of people making their way toward the European Union. At a new refugee center in the town of Presevo, volunteers are offering what little aid they can.
The Dutch town of Hilversum saw three entire families killed when Malaysian airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. A year later, the town is contemplating its loss with stoicism -- and a plan to commemorate the victims with sunflowers grown from seeds collected at the crash site.
A year after 298 people were killed when Malaysian airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, there is still no definitive account of what happened. But in the village where the plane came down, the horror of that day is ever present.
Deep in the forests of western Siberia, a few villagers ride hand-built railroad cars along rusting tracks to reach the nearest town. The logging industry that once supported them is gone, and soon, the lifeline provided by the railroad will be gone as well. (Melani Bachina, RFE/RL's Russian Service
Human rights activists Leyla and Arif Yunus arrive in court in Kau on July 15.
The author of the Faces Of Srebrenica project has been inundated with responses since it appeared on the RFE/RL website. Dzenana Halimovic says families of people killed in the Srebrenica massacre have sent around 100 new photos of victims since the project was published.
On July 11, Bosnia-Herzegovina marks the 20th anniversary of the wartime massacre of Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. As part of the commemorations, the bodies of 136 newly identified victims will be buried at a memorial cemetery. One family is mourning three generations of loved ones.
On July 11, Bosnia-Herzegovina marks the 20th anniversary of the massacre of Muslims in Srebrenica -- the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II. RFE/RL's Balkan Service tells the stories of two people whose lives were changed forever by the events of Srebrenica.
Twenty years ago, on July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces led by General Ratko Mladic entered the town of Srebrenica and killed 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys. The bodies were dumped in mass graves. It was the worst atrocity in Europe since the World War II.
Former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva, who was the interim leader in the wake of her country's 2010 revolution, spoke with RFE/RL's Tajik Service in Prague about unresolved border issues in Central Asia, the growing threat of radicalism, and Russia's role in the region.
A former resort town near Mariupol on the Sea of Azov is largely abandoned now, patrolled by Ukrainian troops on one side and Russia-backed separatists on the other.
For over a year, Russia has been feeling the economic impact of a falling ruble, collapsing world energy prices, and Western sanctions. For Russian citizens, the downturn translates into a soaring cost of living that requires major adjustments at work and at home.
Industrial-scale mining is causing devastation to swaths of forest in western Ukraine. The country's Interior Ministry says the business is controlled by criminal gangs that make up to $500 million a year. Despite the fact that the activity is illegal, the gangs carry out their work quite openly.
Vaghinak Shushanian celebrated his 24th birthday this week among thousands of fellow protesters fighting rising electricity prices in Armenia. Shushanian is already a veteran activist who advocates for change on a wide range of social causes.
Chechen leader Ramzam Kadyrov has been left fuming by the impact of Western sanctions on one of his favorite hobbies – his stable of racehorses. Restrictions have been imposed on the the horses in a number of countries,and he accused the West of harming “horses’ rights.”
Thousands of Armenians have rallied in Yerevan this week to protest against rising electricity prices. Hasmik Khachikian, a seamstress and single mother, has joined the demonstrations in the streets, but is also staging her own protest at home by refusing to pay for power.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Armenian capital, Yerevan, 12 hours after police had violently broken up an earlier demonstration. Defying the crackdown, the protesters marched towards the police lines and chanted slogans.
Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych spoke to BBC television in Moscow in his first extended interview with Western media since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service asked residents of the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk for their reactions.
Residents of Ukraine's central Cherkasy region didn't let the conflict to the east interfere with a bit of fun during their fourth annual Tractor Fest. Farmers and others in the village of Yablunivka showed off their skills as they stacked hay bales and sliced cake with machine-operated tools.
Around 40 percent of the critically endangered Saiga antelope have died in Kazakhstan in recent months. Western scientists say there's no evidence for local speculation about fuel spills from Russian rockets causing the die-off -- but are still scratching their heads as to what's behind it.
In Moldova, stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS remains widespread, and many sufferers have also been subjected to discrimination. This spring, a campaign was launched in which HIV-positive people agreed to have their photos proudly displayed on billboards with the slogan "my condition is not a secret."
Macedonia has become a major transit country for migrants trying to reach the more prosperous parts of the European Union. The Macedonian Unit of RFE/RL's Balkan Service met some of the people making the long journey across southeastern Europe in search of better opportunities.
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has begun his new role as the governor of Ukraine's Odesa region, where he has pledged to modernize institutions and root out corruption. RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service followed Saakashvili as he met with Odesa residents and introduced his new police chief.
Ukrainian forces repelled an attack by Russia-backed separatists on the town of Maryinka, west of Donetsk, on June 14. One separatist unit on the front lines is known as "The Fifteen," because its fighters come from across the 15 post-Soviet states.
RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service has brought further dramatic evidence that the cease-fire in eastern Ukraine is not being observed. Video shot in the village of Pisky on June 6 shows Ukrainian troops defending the village with machine guns, and taking cover in trenches.
Serhiy Zakharov was imprisoned and beaten by Russian-backed separatists for poking fun at their rule. He has since fled the city, and is now on a tour of European galleries with a provocative installation.
Moscow maintains that it is not directly involved in the separatist conflict in Ukraine, but a steady flow of so-called volunteers from Russia are signing up to fight -- and some businesses are also contributing. One businessman has turned his factory over to producing uniforms for separatists.
A massive fire broke out at a fuel depot near the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on June 9, when this footage was taken. At least five people died in the blaze, including three firemen. Emergency crews continued to battle the fire on June 10, but officials said there is no threat of the blaze spreading.
When shelling started in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, some residents took shelter in their basements. What they thought was a short-term situation has now dragged on for a year. Petr Shelomovskiy of RFE/RL's Current Time TV program visited one shelter in Donetsk.
Ukrainian fighters from the OUN volunteer battalion were coming under fire from Russian-backed separatists night and day on June 6-7. The volunteers said the separatists were using mortars, but they were able to respond only with small arms fire.
The Pankisi Gorge in Georgia has long been notorious as a hideout for Chechen rebels, Islamist extremists, and smugglers. It’s also become a recruitment zone for Islamic State militants.
In the Russian district of Beryozovsky, officials have given residents free access to farmland to help them weather the effects of sanctions on Western food imports. Part-time farmers and the district mayor celebrated the new initiative with a day of singing, socializing, and planting potatoes.
Investigations into alleged corruption at FIFA, the governing body of world football, have led to scrutiny of how Russia and Qatar won the rights to host the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 respectively. Watch a video excerpt from the presentation for Russia's World Cup bid. (Reuters)
Pope Francis is making a one-day visit to Sarajevo on June 6. A survey by RFE/RL's Balkan Service found people across Bosnia-Herzegovina were looking forward to the visit with a variety of hopes. We spoke to people in Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Banja Luka.
Environmental activists and officials in Sweden say the Baltic Sea is in trouble -- and that Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave to the sea's southeast, is responsible for an outsized share of the damage. Despite financial support from EU states, Kaliningrad has no sewage treatment system.
To mark International Children's Day on June 1, RFE/RL asked kids around our broadcast region: What makes you happy?
The Denisenkos and their four children fled the conflict in eastern Ukraine last fall. But the warm welcome they had been promised in Russia never materialized. Instead, the family is facing hostility, unemployment, and crushing poverty. They now desperately want to return home.
Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny pulled no punches in his comments on President Vladimir Putin and his role in the war in Ukraine during a May 28 interview. Speaking with RFE/RL and VOA in Moscow, Navalny accused Putin of starting the conflict to strengthen his hold on power.
Wells are drying up in Armenia's Ararat Valley region, forcing locals to struggle for resources. Many say that the nearby fish farms are consuming an unfair share of the region's water. But they fear that any complaints would be quashed by the powerful politicians who own the fisheries.
RFE/RL has recorded dramatic evidence of the cease-fire in Ukraine being violated, with pro-government forces coming under sustained shelling in the village of Shyrokyne. The attack, filmed on May 24, resulted in one Ukrainian soldier dying of shrapnel wounds and another being wounded.
The funeral has been held of prominent Ukrainian separatist commander Aleksei Mozgovoi, who was killed in a mysterious gangland-style hit on May 23. The May 27 funeral was attended by members of his unit, the Ghost battalion, and residents in rebel-held Alchevsk.
RFE/RL has recorded dramatic evidence of the cease-fire in Ukraine being violated, with pro-government forces coming under sustained shelling in the village of Shyrokyne from heavy weapons that Ukrainian officials say should have been withdrawn under the cease-fire terms.
A Russian pensioner has won a three-year battle to force transport authorities in her region to provide free toilet facilities. Svetlana Ivanovna’s struggle began after she literally wrestled with an irate cashier in a toilet cubicle – but ended with piles of documentary evidence in a court of law.
The island of Gotland is a sleepy Swedish outpost in the Baltic Sea, but it holds enormous strategic value. Military commanders say that if a conflict erupted in the Baltic States, control over Gotland would mean control of the entire region.
At the EU summit in Riga, Latvia, there was an open petition in support of full EU membership for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Activists presented the sheets of signatures to EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, who promised to take them home and read them.
In the Latvian capital, Riga, European Union leaders were gathering for a summit with their counterparts from six eastern countries. Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia, are all seeking stronger ties with the EU – while Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan are closer to Russia.
High in the Hindu Kush Mountains of northwest Pakistan, a small tribe clings to an ancient pre-Islamic culture. Paler skinned than the other people in the region, some claim the Kalash are descendants of soldiers who marched through the area under Alexander the Great more than 2,000 years ago.
European Council President Donald Tusk has said Russian propaganda is a problem in Eastern and also Western Europe, but that the truth will overcome it. Speaking to RFE/RL's Rikard Jozwiak in Brussels, he drew a parallel with how the Soviet propaganda machine was unable to win during the Cold War.
In the final video from Janyl Jusupjan's series of short films about the lives of ethnic Kyrgyz in the town of Jerge-Tal in northern Tajikistan, we meet Gulnaz, a housewife and mother who decided to leave and try her luck in Kyrgyzstan.
A group of volunteers has secured approval and financial backing from the Ukrainian authorities to train snipers for the army at a military base near the southern port of Mikolayiv. The conditions are far from perfect: some of the weapons are older than the men using them.
In Belgrade, rival demonstrators rallied over a court decision overturning the 1946 conviction of a Serbian nationalist commander whose forces fought Josip Broz Tito’s communist partisans. General Dragoljub “Draza” Mihailovic was executed after a communist court ruled he collaborated with the Nazis.
Any Russian submarines probing Swedish waters may now encounter an unusual welcome. A Swedish peace organization has created an underwater sign with a sailor thrusting his hips which beeps out a Morse code signal saying, "This way if you're gay."
In Artemivsk, work on defenses against an expected attack from Russian-backed separatists has been delayed by months – and volunteers digging trenches say the mayor is trying to sabotage the work.
Events are being held in many countries to mark 70 years since the end of World War II in Europe on May 8, 1945, but in fact the last large-scale engagement of the conflict began three days after the Nazi capitulation. More than a thousand people, mostly German soldiers, were killed.
An Afghan court has sentenced four men to death for participating in the mob killing of a young woman named Farkhunda in Kabul in March. Following the verdict, RFE/RL's Afghan Service spoke to Farkhunda's father and brother, who said that justice had not been served.
Ukrainian veteran Ivan Zaluzhniy has witnessed the tragedies of two wars separated by seven decades. He served in the Soviet Red Army and fought in Stalingrad, the deadliest battle of World War II. In August 2014, Zaluzhniy's grandson, also a soldier, was killed in fighting in eastern Ukraine.
At around 1 p.m. local time on May 3, a column of six Ural trucks pulling howitzers was filmed driving through central Donetsk, heading toward the north of the separatist-held city. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
In another from Janyl Jusupjan's series of short films about the lives of ethnic Kyrgyz in the town of Jerge-Tal in northern Tajikistan, we meet Saifaridin, an elderly man who fled Jerge-Tal during Tajikistan's civil war in the 1990s.
A Bosnian Muslim businessman has discovered what are believed to be the remains of a 13th-century Franciscan church in his back garden – and now intends to have it rebuilt. Husein Smajic stumbled across the foundations and other relics of the church while digging an artificial lake.
As civilians have fled war-torn areas of eastern Ukraine, they've left behind their homes, their possessions, and sometimes their dogs and cats. Hundreds of these abandoned animals have wound up at a shelter on the outskirts of Kyiv, where a small staff is working hard to feed and house the strays.
The cousin of the man who killed a policeman and injured two others in Bosnia's eastern Serb Republic has said Islamist militants "messed with his head." The attacker, who was killed in the incident, has been identified as 24-year-old Nerdin Ibric.
In another from Janyl Jusupjan's series of short films about the lives of ethnic Kyrgyz in the town of Jerge-Tal in northern Tajikistan, we meet Latofat, the only female singer in her village, whose mother was Kyrgyz and father was Tajik.
The Ukrainian armed forces have been unable to hold on to large swathes of territory, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says they need to be rebuilt from scratch. This week, U.S. trainers began training the Ukrainian National Guard, and Georgian forces are also running training operations.
As Armenia marks the 100th anniversary of the 1915 massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, the descendants of survivors are coming forward to tell their family histories. RFE/RL's Armenian Service spoke to the "hidden Armenians" who ancestors converted to Islam to escape persecution.
Sergei Guriyev, a prominent economist, left Russia permanently in 2013 after coming under investigation by Moscow authorities. Guriyev spoke with Iolanda Badilita of RFE/RL's Moldovan Service in Strasbourg on April 21 about the extent to which corruption cripples Russia's economy.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite is a vocal critic of the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin and its influence in its neighbors' affairs. On a visit to Chisinau, Grybauskaite spoke with Mihaela Gherasim of RFE/RL's Moldovan Service Moldova can confront pressure from Moscow.
A fragile cease-fire monitored by the OSCE in the southeastern Ukrainian village of Shyrokyne collapsed after just three days of quiet. Correspondent Zinaida Burskaya of RFE/RL’s Current Time TV was with volunteer fighters of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion as renewed fighting broke out on April 18.
Ukraine has officially welcomed U.S. troops at a military base near the western city of Lviv. The April 20 ceremony marked the beginning of exercises named “Fearless Guardian-2015,” in which around 300 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade will train some 900 Ukrainian National Guard servicemen.
The town of Debaltseve, in eastern Ukraine, fell to a Russian-backed separatist assault shortly after the Minsk cease-fire agreements were signed in February. The few people who remained have experienced looting, buried bodies being dug up, and bread queues controlled by gunmen.
In Armenia, U.S. rapper Kanye West staged an impromptu concert to round off a visit to the capital, Yerevan. At the end of the concert, West jumped into a pond – followed by excited fans.
West was visiting the country with his wife, TV celebrity Kim Kardashian – who is of Armenian descent.
U.S. reality TV stars Kim and Khloe Kardashian visited the "Mother Armenia" monument in Yerevan on April 9. The celebrity sisters are shooting part of their TV show in Armenia, the home of their great-grandparents.
In July 1941, thousands of Jews were forced to move into a ghetto in Chisinau, the capital of present-day Moldova. Today, the history of that era is not well known to the people who live there. This film by RFE/RL's Moldovan Service seeks to reveal the fates of some of those who survived the ghetto.
Smoke was seen rising from buildings in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif on April 9 after three gunmen stormed the regional prosecutor's office. Police said the armed men exchanged fire with security forces, killing three police officers and leaving some 27 people wounded.
U.S. TV personality Kim Kardashian arrived in Yerevan late on April 8, accompanied by her husband, rapper Kanye West, their daughter, North West, and Kim's sister Khloe Kardashian. Journalists and fans surrounded the family at the airport and outside their hotel in the city center.
Some 200 members of the Yazidi religious minority arrived in Kirkuk on April 8 after they were released from captivity by the Islamic State militant group. Those freed were mainly women, elderly people, and people with disabilities.
In an interview with Germany's ARD television in 2008, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Moscow recognizes all of Ukraine's borders, and that there is no issue of ethnic conflict in Crimea. His comments stand in stark contrast with Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has left some areas riddled with mines and mortars even after the combatants have moved on to other battlefields. A team of sappers is working to clear the minefields, a dangerous job that requires courage, patience, and the assistance of a Labrador retriever.
Ljubinka Nikolic, a geologist from Serbia, has been pre-selected to take part in a Dutch initiative to establish the first human colony on Mars. Despite mounting criticism of the project, Nikolic is thrilled about the prospect of pioneering space travel to Mars and of taking a one-way trip.
An acute shortage of medicines has been reported in areas of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists. Many pharmacies are closed, and hospitals are unable to care for patients with some serious conditions. In areas controlled by the government, health services are also feeling the strain.
Czechs have laid on a farewell concert in honor of the U.S. Army, capping three days of events as the 2nd Cavalry Regiment made its way across the country on the way back to base in Germany. (RFE/RL)
More than two decades ago, a photographer captured Sarajevo resident Meliha Varesanovic walking proudly in high heels and pearls as soldiers traded fire nearby. The image struck a chord with viewers around the world, becoming a symbol of dignity amidst the tragedies of the Bosnian war.
The brutal mob killing in Kabul of a woman named Farkhunda has shocked Afghanistan. As thousands have taken to the streets to demand justice, her family and friends are mourning privately. RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan spoke to those who remember Farkhunda as a kind and pious young woman.
A prison in eastern Ukraine was abandoned by the guards when the area was captured by Russian-backed separatists, leaving the inmates to fend for themselves. Some took the opportunity to run away. But many others stayed – and are now baking bread for local people.
What prompted Saudi Arabia's decision to get involved in the conflict in Yemen with air strikes targeting Huthi rebels? Mardo Soghom, RFE/RL's regional director for Iran and Iraq, says that Saudi Arabia sees Iran's growing influence in the region and fears losing control of oil routes.
Perm-36 is a memorial museum to Soviet repressions on the site of the world's only preserved gulag camp. Local historians who founded the museum have been replaced at the helm by a state organization. The ousted historians now fear the change of management means Soviet crimes will be whitewashed.
John Kopiski came from Britain to Russia to do business, but after meeting his Russian wife he decided to stay. Now, after many struggles, he has established a successful farm business. He has also become a staunch fan of Vladimir Putin – and Stalin.
Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, may have raked in as much as $1 billion via bribery, extortion and exploiting her position - according to a report by the Sarajevo-based Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. RFE/RL spoke to the OCCRP's Miranda Patrucic.
A Kyrgyz military reserve officer has told RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service about his seven months of service as a mercenary in the ranks of the Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Manas Mambetov alleges Russian troops are increasingly replacing local and mercenary fighters in the region.
Since Crimea's annexation from Ukraine a year ago, the vast majority of local residents have taken Russian citizenship. Those who chose to remain Ukrainian are grappling with a number of new difficulties. (RFE/RL's Russian Service)
In parts of Tajikistan, marriage between cousins is common -- and doctors say that the custom leads to higher incidences of genetic abnormalities in those couples' children. RFE/RL's Tajik Service spoke to doctors and patients' relatives at a hospital in the Khatlon region.
More than 1,000 Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers have died fighting pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine. Many left behind wives and children. Local charities are playing a key role in helping these families overcome financial hardship and coping with their loss. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Hundreds of bodies are being buried in eastern Ukraine without being identified. On the separatist side, officials say they don't have the resources to cope with the sheer volume of bodies – which were found lining the corridors at the central morgue in Donetsk.
The Russian Federation annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea on March 21, 2014. The move, which went mostly unrecognized around the world, followed a Crimean referendum on joining Russia that was widely condemned as illegal. We look at the varying views on the past year's developments.
A banner at a recent protest by Russia’s pro-Kremlin “Anti-Maidan” movement plumbed new depths – with a play on words suggesting supporters of democracy had Down syndrome. The banner caused outrage among families and activists who have been working to change prejudices surrounding the condition.
The conflict in Ukraine has seen fierce battles with thousands of casualties. The overwhelming majority of combatants are men -- but not all of them. Shahida Yakub from RFE/RL's Current Time (www.currenttime.tv) program profiles two women serving in uniform on opposing sides of the front lines.
This weekend's detention of five suspects in the assassination of Boris Nemtsov looks suspiciously convenient for the Kremlin.
Gulrukhsor Rofieva took a job at a hospital in Yemen with the hope of saving money to buy a house in Tajikistan. Her dream turned into a nightmare when she was kidnapped by militants and held for ransom.
The battle for Donetsk airport was some of the fiercest in the Ukrainian war so far. After 242 days, the Ukrainian government forces retreated from the ruined terminal buildings at the end of January. Now, each day, bodies are recovered from the ruins.
A look at family life in Afghan prisons for female convicts, where children up to the age of seven live with mothers serving terms for crimes ranging from drug smuggling to adultery.
The Ferghana Valley in Central Asia has for years been a hotbed for drugs, smuggling, and Islamic extremism. One of the most densely populated areas of the region, it has now become fertile ground for Islamic State militants.
Russia has repeatedly denied Western accusations its troops are in Ukraine, but it has admitted the presence of volunteers fighting on the side of separatists there. RFE/RL Current Time program gained rare access to two nationalist organizations in St Petersburg which have sent men to fight.
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that will appear Monday through Friday. Viewers can submit suggested topics to address on Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
The killing of Boris Nemtsov has sparked sadness and anger. But many fear that -- as in other high-profile cases -- the people behind his murder will never be charged.
In the wake of the Taliban massacre at a school in Peshawar, authorities in northwest Pakistan have given teachers permission to carry guns to school. Some teachers have balked at the new policy, warning that weapons in the classroom could have a negative psychological impact on their students.
The village of Perelogi, north of Moscow, was on the verge of dying out -- until Tajik families, fleeing civil war at home, started arriving in the 1990s.
The 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi cost tens of billions of dollars. But for those who live and work in the Black Sea resort, there are other, hidden costs. One year after the Games, migrant laborers are still fighting for the back wages, as residents take stock of the damage.
Ukrainian military forces have retreated from the town of Debaltseve, which has been under siege by pro-Russian separatists. Correspondent Levko Stek of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service spoke to the soldiers outside Debaltseve after they left the town in the control of rebel fighters.
A look at the events of February 18-21, 2014, when antigovernment protests in central Kyiv descended into deadly violence.
Fawad Mohammadi has had an incredible life: plucked from the obscurity of selling maps on the streets of Kabul to star in an Oscar-nominated movie, his life also inspired a British novelist. He is now studying at one of Kabul's top schools -- his days as a street child long behind him.
To supplement his wages, Kyrgyz teacher Murat Duisheev braves sub-zero temperatures in his spare time to pan for gold in a nearby river.
At Tajik universities, Chinese courses are filled to the limit with students eager to learn the language of their powerful neighbor. Many are hoping that growing Chinese investment in Tajikistan will mean new job opportunities in a struggling economy. (Barotali Nazarov, RFE/RL's Tajik Service)
Border towns in southern Hungary have seen a dramatic rise in the number of migrants illegally crossing into the EU state from neighboring Serbia, which recently eased its travel restrictions. The majority of the migrants are Kosovars, who are escaping from poverty and mass unemployment back home.
People fleeing the fighting in eastern Ukraine recalled what they had gone through, after arriving at government-controlled Slovyansk railway station. In interviews filmed on the station platform on February 2, IDPs spoke of fear, lack of sleep, and constant firing. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Officials in northwest Pakistan have revised school textbooks to make them more Islamic -- no unveiled women, references to world historical figures replaced with prominent Muslims, and Koranic verses about jihad.
The majority of injured separatist fighters from eastern Ukraine are treated in Russia. But their treatment is not always organized officially. In the border regions of Russia, there are informal clinics and rehabilitation centers organized by the separatists.
Ukrainian forces are helping civilians flee the town of Debaltseve, which has been hit by heavy shelling amid ongoing clashes. Servicemen also brought in bread supplies for residents who are unable or unwilling to leave.
The town of Debaltseve has been caught in the crossfire between Ukrainian military forces and separatist fighters for more than two weeks. Many residents have fled, and those who remain are struggling to survive as food supplies dwindle and the fighting draws closer.
Avdiyivka, just north of Donetsk, has been shelled by both sides of the conflict between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists. There are no soldiers in the town, and many inhabitants have also left.
In recent days, Russian-backed separatists have been advancing in eastern Ukraine. As fighting with Ukrainian forces intensifies, indiscriminate shelling has caused dozens of civilian casualties, as well as damaging homes and other property.
Mykola Karpenko was just 17 when he was drafted into the Soviet Army from his village in Ukraine. His unit was among those that freed the prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland on January 27, 1945. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)
Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life.
Afghan authorities have recently captured a number of young men who were apparently planning to carry out suicide bombings. The National Directorate of Security (NDS), the country's spy agency, presented several thwarted bombers to the media in Kabul.
Winter in Kazakhstan can be harsh – especially without heating. Sholpan Saymova’s family home was declared to be in an "emergency condition” in 2010 – but the repairs led to a nightmare that left them at turns freezing cold, hospitalized, and battling local bureaucracy.
Twelve children in the western Kazakh village of Berezovka suddenly collapsed or fell ill on January 21. They are only the latest of some 100 cases of the mysterious illness in recent months.
With the end of NATO's combat mission in Afghanistan, Iran has been tightening its grip on the western part of the country. Nowhere is the Islamic republic’s influence more visible than in the city of Herat, which has deep historical ties to Iran.
Some 25,000 people marched in Dresden on January 12 to protest against what they called the “Islamization” of Germany. Now a weekly event, the protest gained additional participants in the wake of last week's terror attacks in Paris.
Bitter divisions are deepening in the German city of Dresden following another night of mass demonstrations. German police say 25,000 people took to the streets to protest against what they call the “Islamization” of Germany – the highest number yet.
In the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the international airport is on the front lines of the separatist conflict. Government troops and pro-Russian separatists have each taken up positions in the destroyed airport buildings and are fighting for control of the strategic site.
In December, a family in eastern Ukraine was torn apart by conflict. Baby Nika and her brother Vitya lost their mother and their home in a shell attack. The children's aunt is now taking care of them and her own young children as they struggle to put their lives back together.
For months, the airport in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, has been the scene of heavy fighting between Ukrainian troops and separatist rebels. RFE/RL Ukrainian Service correspondents joined a late-night supply run bringing gasoline and other essentials to the fighters at the airport.
The cautionary tale of one young ethnic Uzbek migrant worker from Kyrgyzstan.
Ivan, a novice monk, was inspired by the experiences of wounded fighters to leave the safety of his monastery and join a volunteer paramilitary battalion in Ukraine's Donetsk region. Now training with his unit for potential combat, Ivan believes the church stands behind his decision.
It was the most tumultuous year in Ukraine's history since World War II, and Levko Stek of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service followed it with his camera every step of the way. From the squares of Kyiv, to the seizing of Crimea, and the war that followed in Donbas, Stek was everywhere.
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